Improving disaster preparedness, food security and reducing health risks among vulnerable populations
The arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya are prone to drought and have suffered recurrent extreme climatic conditions with long-term devastating effects on livelihoods. Northern Kenya is also prone to violent inter-community conflicts and to the spillover effects of the Somalia situation. In 2013, ACTED focused on enhancing disaster preparedness and resilience, improving food security and reducing health risks among vulnerable populations. Through communitydriven approaches, communities were supported in developing contingency plans that feed into county level plans and which have also been used in community disaster mitigation projects. Through Food for Work, supporting agricultural production, hygiene promotion and kits distribution, ACTED enhanced the food security and reduced health risks related to water and sanitation respectively of populations at risk.
Disaster Preparedness through community-driven approaches
In 2013, ACTED supported disaster preparedness and resiliencebuilding activities in the most vulnerable arid and semi-arid counties of Kenya including Mandera, Turkana, Samburu, Baringo and West Pokot. Through community-driven approaches, ACTED facilitated the formation of 45 Community Disaster Management Committees who were trained on hazard and vulnerability analysis then later developed Community Disaster Management Plans. These plans are now being integrated into the county level contingency planning processes. Each community group was also supported in identifying and implementing a community disaster mitigation project (e.g. improved goat species cross-breeding, camel stocking, underground tank construction and irrigation) through disbursement of grants by ACTED.
Reducing health risks by providing clean water, good sanitation and hygiene
In 2013, ACTED provided emergency WASH initiatives to communities in Mandera, Turkana, Samburu and Baringo counties. This was done through hygiene promotion training and distribution of hygiene kits to 800 households in Mandera. Building on from a previous project, 16 water management committees were facilitated to monitor use, ensure protection of and arranging re-filling of chlorine dispensers in, Samburu and Baringo counties. Also 400 households in proximity to these committees (including Turkana) were supported to implement community-led total sanitation (CLTS) and received hygiene kits.
Improving food security of vulnerable agro pastoral populations
In 2013, ACTED improved the food security situation of vulnerable populations in Mandera County. Through Food for Work, 600 beneficiaries engaged in rehabilitation of dykes and de-silting water pans and in turn received food vouchers for four months. In addition, ACTED facilitated the construction of two granaries and three greenhouses for the agro pastoral populations. Furthermore, management committees of the granaries and greenhouses were trained in seed management and supply networks, planting, harvesting and methodologies on seed distribution. These activities contributed to the reduction in the use of negative coping strategies during the lean season.
Engaging with new partners to strengthen resilience
In 2014, ACTED intends to continue strengthening the resilience of communities in the arid and semi-arid lands of Northern Kenya through community-driven approaches. Alongside Kenya’s civil society, ACTED plans to engage in advocacy initiatives to ensure that communities are put at the centre of development and disaster preparedness. In addition, ACTED intends to support the National Drought Management Authority to strengthen their early warning systems and also linking this with early action. Moving forward, ACTED will aim to work differently in its programming by engaging more with the non-traditional development partners i.e. the private sector and working closely with both the national and county governments.